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Fujifilm Expands DigiCam Lineup

Fujifilm introduced five new digital cameras last week, including a new product series aimed at the swelling ranks of repeat buyers looking to upgrade their older cameras.

The new E-series models will fit between the company’s entry-level A-series models and the slim form factor F-series with prices under $500.

The new cameras, which ship next month, include the FinePix E500, E510 and E550. All three feature a 2-inch LCD screen, PictBridge compatibility and a 3.2x optical Fujinon wide-angle zoom lens. The cameras are compatible with optional lens adapters for 1.94x telephoto or 0.76x wide-angle zoom capability.

The cameras will ship with a PictureCradle adapter so the models will work with the company’s existing PictureCradle camera dock ($49.99).

The 4-megapixel E500 and 5-megapixel E510 feature both automatic and manual modes and will retail for a suggested $299.99 and $349.99, respectively.

The flagship E550, for $449.99, will feature 6.3 megapixel resolution with Fujifilm’s proprietary Super CCD HR (High Resolution) sensor system and a new image processor for a shot-to-shot time of 1.0 second, and a shutter lag of 0.05 seconds.

Other features of the E550 include a 4x optical zoom with optional 1.94x and 0.76x wide-angle lens adapters, automatic and manual shooting modes, a continuous shooting mode, and a long-period burst mode that shoots up to 40 frames at 1.6 fps, when the camera is set to 2-megapixel mode.

In movie mode, the E550 records VGA resolution video at 30 fps to the length of the xD Picture card.

According to Susan Schaffer, marketing director, Fujifilm, the “most rapid and notable” growth of digital camera sales has been at the mass channel, hence the E-series’ focus on hitting mainstream feature sets and price points.

“We see more and more women entering the market,” Shaffer said. “This segment focuses mainly on good quality and ease-of-use in their digital cameras.”

The company also added two models to its existing S-series of traditionally styled, ultra-zoom models. The S3100 and S5100 both sport 4.0 megapixel resolution with an improved viewfinder and LCD for low-light viewing.

The S3100, which replaces the S3000, offers fully automatic exposure controls with a 6x optical/3.4x digital zoom. It ships in August for a suggested retail price of $349.

Fujifilm will replace the S5000 with the S5100, adding manual controls and a longer, 10x optical/3.6x digital zoom.

It will ship in October for a suggested retail of $499.99.

Fujifilm also updated the specs and announced availability for its high-end digital SLR, the FinePix S3 Pro, which was previewed at PMA. The S3 Pro and will ship in October but no price was set. New features include adjustable dynamic range and several film simulation modes.

In anticipation of the S3’s release, Fujifilm lowered the suggested retail price of its predecessor, the 6.2-megapixel S20 Pro from $999 to $895.